Friday
Jan222010

Safe In The Steep Cliffs

When I said we were off to a strong start in 2010, I wasn’t kidding you know. I have found an album that caters to all my musical needs. I never thought I would hear an album that sounds like DJ Shadow, Pete Rock and Rob Dougan combined, but that’s exactly what this feels like. Genuine perfection from a quite exceptional producer.

Safe In Steep Cliffs

As Emancipator explains: “‘Safe In The Steep Cliffs’ represents the tightest, most unique, most organic beats I’ve made in the last three years. This album has a new palette of sounds and samples from around the world, including more original recordings (guitar/violin/mandolin/banjo) and new guest artists including Japanese jazz musician Uyama Hiroto. It’s ominous and overgrown, dense and ethereal. And epic. Always epic.”

The dense layers of choirs, horns, American folk instruments and distinct Asian influences make for something that is very rare and unheard of in modern day music. From the first listen I felt like I was listening to a Nujabes production, but with more listens, I can tell it has so much more. This is one of the most thoughtful and beautiful instrumental albums I have heard in years.

Everything just, works. I adore the way in which he has taken about 10 different genres and countless instruments, which shouldn’t work, and made a whole new innovative sound. The only thing that comes close to the uniqueness of the project, is DJ Drez, who’s Jahta Beat albums have been well received within the Underground Hip-Hop scene.

I think any lover of music will find it hard to not enjoy this album from start to finish. It’s one of those albums that you just know will be timeless and is perfect no matter your mood or state of mind. I have posted YouTube links to the two tracks that stood out for me most (hard) and all the necessary links you need below. I hope you all enjoy the album. Another early contender for album of the year.

01. Greenland
02. Black Lake
03. Jet Stream
04. Kamakura
05. All Through The Night
06. Old Devil
07. Nevergreen
08. Ares
09. Rattlesnakes
10. Bury Them Bones
11. Vines
12. Hill Sighed
13. Siren
14. Safe In The Steep Cliffs

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Friday
Jan222010

Feels Like The First Time

Evening.

I have finally decided to start up a (music) blog, after a little bit of persuasion, which was all I needed. After an incredibly strong start to the year, it’s quite ironic that one of my favourite songs is perfect for the title of my first post.

Beautiful Comeback

After a four year break, the troubles in her personal life and the astonishing performance on Jools Holland; It’s safe to say I was rather excited for the new project by one of the brightest Soul/R&B talents this country has produced in the 21st Century. I am happy to report that after many listens over the past week, I wasn’t left wanting in any way, shape or form.

I first saw Corinne Bailey Rae back in 2007, where she was the support act for John Legend at the Manchester Apollo, and I have become fascinated with her ever since. Her debut self-titled album was a worldwide success and one of the most pure and enjoyable debuts I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. She had quite a task on her hands to better it; however I think she’s done a pretty good job in doing so.

You can tell from the outset that she has grown as both a person and an artist. Her lyrics have stepped up a level, and the production is flawless throughout. I love how she has let herself go on the production side of things; on my favourite track (Feels Like The First Time) it sounds like something that Madlib has cooked up with ?uestlove. On other tracks such as ‘The Blackest Lily’ and ‘Are You Here’ she has created a sound, which is a cross between Raphael Saadiq, Norah Jones and Rahsaan Patterson (but better).

People say that this genre has been weak over the past 5 years - I disagree; they just don’t dig deep enough to find good music. One of my favourite albums of 2009 was from Laura Izibor, who is an Irish Soul singer that has also had the honour of touring with Mr. Legend (I know it’s Stephens really). If you enjoy Soul Music that is straight from the heart, then you need look no further than this.

I’ll get the hang of embedding YouTube videos as I go along, but for now, please enjoy this and purchase ‘The Sea’ on 1st of February. I genuinely believe this will be one of the albums of 2010, even at such an early stage. Beautiful.

Feels Like The First Time

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